TV, Device use make kids unhealthy, tired, unfit

Doctors are warning that children can become overweight and unhappy from extreme screen viewing. Outside school children should be spending no more than two hours behind a screen. 

An article in the medical magazine 'Medisch Contact' states that one hour before bedtime should be spent away from gaming, watching television or using a smartphone. According to Dutch doctors, many parents do not know how to regulate this well.

Spending a lot of time behind the glare of a screen can lead to sleep problems. Speed deprivation in turn can lead to weaker school performance, weight problems and mood disorders, doctors say. Other effects are burning, dry or watery eyes, headache, blurry eyesight and seeing double.

Parents are given the advice to reduce screen time to a maximum of two hours per day. Children should also not be allowed televisions or smartphones in their rooms to limit usage.

The doctors state that there has been a trend of rising weight issues among children in the last 30 years. this trend goes hand in hand with increased screen usage. Doctors urge a drastic culture change for the little ones, no television for children under the age of two. Research fro 2013 shows that almost all 3-year olds watch television, videos or DVDs.

Medisch Contact is a website as well as weekly publication for doctors that is published by the Royal Netherlands Association for the promotion of Healing (KNMG). Last year, orthopedists warned of posture problems brought on by excessive gaming, termed the 'gameboy-back'.

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